Tony Kanaan and the ...
Tony Kanaan and the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard will start Sunday's Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland on the outside of the third row after a partially rain-soaked qualifying session this afternoon. For the first time since the season opener in Monterrey, Mexico, Kanaan qualified in the first of two qualifying groups, which is made up primarily of drivers in the lower half of the points standings entering the weekend. He best lap around the 2.106-mile Burke Lakefront Airport temporary road course was clocked at 57.936 seconds (an average of 130.862 mph), good enough for sixth among the 13 cars in the group. Rain began falling right at the start of the second group session, made up of drivers in the upper half of the points standings, and none could better the times set by drivers in the first group.
Kanaan's teammate Alex Zanardi in the #66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard will start on the inside of the seventh row after his qualifying lap of 58.570 seconds (129.445 mph). Mauricio Gugelmin, the fastest qualifier in the first group, scored his fourth career pole and first since 1997. His time was 57.356 seconds (132.185 mph). Adrian Fernandez was second at 57.517 seconds (131.815 mph), and Max Wilson was third in 57.892 seconds (130.961 mph).
Race time Sunday is 1 p.m. EDT with a live broadcast set for ABC-TV. The Sunday-morning CART2DAY warm-up show will be shown on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. EDT.
"All I can say is I got the absolute maximum out of the car today. I never got caught up in traffic. Nobody blocked me. I'm totally exhausted for probably the first time this season. That's a sign that there was no more to get out of the car. I definitely didn't leave anything on the table today. I do feel bad because I blocked (Alex) Tagliani when he was on a flyer. I know what it's like to have that done to me, and I'm not that kind of a guy. He's had a tough year and I'm having a tough period right now. I really feel bad about that and I apologized to him right away. As far as our team is concerned, it's been hard, but it's time to dig as deep as we can possibly dig and work harder than ever before. The rain helped us out a lot today and we will get to start a lot farther up the grid than we probably would have without the rain. But the reality is that we have our work cut out for us. I hate to see (teammate Alex) Zanardi back there behind me, and I hate to be in the back, myself. Nobody likes to run in the back. But we need to stick together as a team and work together to get through this period. We got a little racing luck today with the rain. We' ll work hard to get ready for the race and hope a little more luck comes our way so we can turn this ship around."